Dean's Message

Message from Dr. Ganzel May 7 to School of Medicine Staff

The experiences associated  with  the coronavirus pandemic continue to evolve and challenge us. 


As you are aware, the University of Louisville is experiencing significant financial shortfalls associated with this pandemic.  Efforts to stem financial losses have impacted the University on every level including hiring freezes, temporary salary reductions, temporary elimination of employer retirement contributions and furloughs.  These decisions were not easy and have weighed heavily on university leaders who are engaged in developing long and short term strategies to assure the financial and operational wellbeing of our institution.  Through all of the discussions regarding budget reductions and cost savings our main priority is to do our VERY best to avoid permanent workforce reductions.  


For School of Medicine employees who will be furloughed, I very sincerely regret that circumstances necessitated this measure. I do not take this lightly and I know this sentiment is shared by those who had to make difficult furlough decisions.  I want to reiterate that being furloughed is NOT a reflection in any way on you, your work, or your value to the University, our school, or your unit.  It is the University's fervent intent to align furlough strategies to optimize state and federal  benefits in a way that assures the best financial benefit and least negative financial impact to our employees.   


Furloughs will impact all of us, but none more than those who will be actually furloughed. I fully appreciate that there are a range of emotions that go along with processing the realities of what a furlough means.  There might be fear and uncertainty on how all of the pieces will come together; concerns about how personal and family income may be impacted.  Our University Human Resources staff has worked diligently to anticipate employee needs and to transition as much of the burden for application for unemployment benefits from our affected employees.  Human Resources has confirmed that applications for Kentucky Unemployment Benefits also serve for Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act assistance. 


I want to take this opportunity to remind furloughed employees to closely review the details in the furlough letter that they have, or will receive, from Human Resources.  Pay close attention to deadlines or suggested timing noted in your letter. If you have any questions regarding application for unemployment benefits I encourage you to reach out to Human Resources at 502-852-6258 as soon as possible with an emphasis on doing so prior to the end of your first week of furlough.    


Please remember that during a period when an employee is furloughed they CANNOT perform any University related work.  This includes reading or responding to e-mails or phone calls.  Working during a furlough for which unemployment benefits are sought may jeopardize an employee's access to unemployment benefits. 


Over the next several weeks we may begin to see our City and Commonwealth begin a measured re-opening of businesses and public spaces.  The university will make decisions on next steps, including whether to extend the remote work policy beyond May 31, as soon as appropriate.


I want to thank you all for your efforts and resilience during this unusual and difficult time.  There IS light at the end of this tunnel and it will guide us to better days ahead.  


Continue to stay safe.